Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, May 6, 2001

Bond the band, from left: Haylie Ecker, Eos, Tania
Davis and and Gay-Yee Westerhoff.

Bond band looks
better than it sounds

"Born" Bond (Decca)

Review by Burl Burlingame

Just when you imagine there's still a gene pool of creativity in Europe, along comes Bond to remind us why the Pilgrims got out of Dodge.

Bond will be everywhere before you know it; they're just too cute -- and too low-concept -- to ignore. For generations raised on artificial femme teams like Spice Girls, Charlie's Angels and Josie and the Pussycats (the Go-Go's, Hole or Pink Noise wouldn't be caught dead in packages this suffocating), the concept of Bond is a kind of unequaled, uber-publicity paroxysm. Here they come, walkin' down the street ...

Imagine this, kids: Some Euro-trash musical executives (prime suspects, from the liner notes: Magnus Fiennes and Tonci Huljic) at some point decided that what the world needed was the foxiest chamber ensemble that could be assembled (er, ensembled), in order to revive the ghost of Giorgio Moroder's disco-inferno nightmares.

And so we have four girls -- Haylie, Eos, Tania and Gay-Yee (last names are irrelevant), two English and two Australian -- who play prettily on two violins, a viola and a cello. They look really good. They wear public lingerie well. They're willing to cheerfully bounce in videos that teenage boys will hit the slo-mo button on.

Can they play? Evidence seems to say yes, as they've all got impressive chops, musical degrees and previous gigging experience. But the sound of their string instruments is thin and electronic here, lying under the big-beat bass drums, the sampled burbles and chirps, the North African djembes, the Algerian chanting, the French girl-whispering, the ray-gun effects, the Gypsy tub-thumping and, oh yes, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, to boot. Compared to the one-girl party sound of, say, fiddler Natalie MacMaster, this is elevator music in search of the properly plunging elevator.

Did we mention the Bond girls look good? No doubt they will be featured in an upcoming James B. flick, as that's just the sort of heavily chromed and Naugahyded kitsch-scape they'd plug right into. They're quite a sight, sawing away energetically on their plastic instruments, grimly shaking their high-concept booty.

Apparently they're already some sort of monster hit in Europe. Don't hate them because they're beautiful. Hate their handlers, because the music doesn't matter. This is the sort of band in which the primary attraction comes from mating cues, like when a female baboon sticks her butt in the air, or when you declare in the college dorm that Miss Uruguay is the cutest in the Miss Universe pageant, based on two seconds of videotape. Whatever her talent is. It's just all so tacky and undignified.

And Haylie is way, way the cutest.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin